Margaritas

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I once asked the question “Who likes margaritas?” Boy was that a silly question. I was corrected as to “Who doesn’t like margaritas!?!?” I can’t say I know a single person who doesn’t enjoy a good margarita. While I don’t fancy tequila…I’m head over heels when it comes margaritas. I’m a salt on the rim over the rocks kinda gal and that’s the way to go.

It’s always 5 o’clock in my house and it sure doesn’t need to be summer to enjoy drinking a margarita. Below I have given you the secret to my margarita recipe that I have perfected since living in Florida. First I have the classic margarita and second is my strawberry and cilantro marg.Β  Go get your drank on!

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Amanda’s Classic Margarita

Yield: 1 Drink

Mise en Place:

-2 Ounces Tequila (of choice, I’m all about the silver)

-2 Ounces Triple Sec

-4 Ounces Simply Limeade (found either by the butter and eggs or the produce section of the grocery store)

-1 Ounce Orange juice OR Simply lemonade with mango

-1 Lime cut into wedges

 

Additional Tools:

-Ice

-2 pint glasses (if you have a cocktail shaker that works better)

-Shot glass for measuring

-small plate of salt

-Margarita or pint glass

 

Method of Preparation:

-If your using a margarita glass, place glass in the freezer to chill while making drink.

-Fill pint glasses or cocktail shaker with ice.

-Add in liquors and juices into shaker.

-Cover and shake well. If your doing the pint glass method, pour mix back and forth between the glasses two times to mix.

-Remove glass from freezer. Rub the rim of the glass with the wedge of a lime and roll the edge of glass in a circle on the plate of salt to coat the rim. (Take the empty pint glass and roll the edges around the salt).

-Fill glass with drink leaving the ice behind (leave ice in for the pint glass). Garnish with lime and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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Strawberry & Cilantro Margarita:

-Use the same recipe as above

You will also need: a few cilantro leaves, rough chopped and 2 strawberries.

-In a small bowl, muddle your strawberries and cilantro together until lightly crushed. Add into the drink and shake or mix up.

-Pour into a lightly salted glass and garnish with lime.

Enjoy!

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Truffle Duo

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Everyone has a weakness in their life and mine happens to pertain to food..mostly sugar. I’m pretty good at not eating a lot of sugar, after all I never really cared for it as a kid (shocking I know!). I spent a lot of money on braces and keeping my teeth clean and healthy I didn’t want to risk cavities or ruining them in any way due to consuming a lot of sugar and causing my own teeth to rot.

I think I may crave sugar because I lack it in my diet? Just a guess… When I do decide to go for dessert to cure my itch for something sweet I try to go light. Usually I hit up the go-yo (frozen yogurt) down the street or I’ll make a small batch of cookies with as little refined sugar as possible. Now that summer has just begun to show its pretty face, many people are looking to eat lighter meals including desserts. Truffles are an excellent one bite treat to enjoy and they wont have you feeling guilty from eating a few.

I have 2 delicious versions for you. The first is a peanut butter and honey truffle with the second being an avocado and chocolate truffle. Both are amazing and they go great with summer cocktails. If your planning a picnic on the beach or a cookout for dad, grab a bottle of bubbly and make these truffles!

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Peanut Butter & Honey Truffles

Dairy free/vegan (omit honey for agave)/vegetarian

Yield: 12 Each

Mise en Place:

-1/4 Cup Rolled Oats

-1/2 Cup Peanut Butter

-1/4 Cup Honey

-1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

-1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut (Unsweetened)

Additional Tools:

-Food processor

-Small cookie scoop (melon ballers work well too)

-parchment paper

-Sheet tray

Method of Preparation:

-Pulse oats in blender until powdery.

-Stir peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and oat flour together into a small bowl.

-Roll into 1″ balls (or scoop).

-Coat with shredded coconut

-Line up on a parchment paper lined sheet tray and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes until firm.

Enjoy!

Avocado & Cocoa Truffles

Gluten free/vegetarian

Yield: 25 Each

Mise en Place:

-8 Tablespoons Butter

-1 Large Haas Avocado

-1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla

-1 1/4 Cups Unsweetened Cocoa

-2 Cups Powder Sugar

-1 Cup Chopped nuts of choice (I used Almonds)

Method of Prep:

-Melt butter over medium heat in a small sauce pan.

-In a food processor, puree avocado until smooth. (You can add in a little bit of the melted butter to help with the blending).

-Add the avocado puree, vanilla, cocoa and powder sugar into the butter. Stir until evenly incorporated.

-Place the chocolate mixture into the refrigerator until it hardens (30 minutes).

-Remove hardened chocolate from refrigerator and roll into 1″ balls.

-Coat in Chopped nuts or powdered sugar, whichever you prefer.

-Place truffles back into refrigerator until set.

Enjoy!

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Fresh Fruit and Smoked Paprika Oatmeal

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Oatmeal is a simple and classic breakfast item that everyone is familiar with. Its a quick mini meal to make and you can add in just about anything to make it taste good. I wouldn’t normally put a post up on something so simple considering most oatmeal is prepared and ready to go in a packet, all you do is add boiling water. When you make something from scratch using all fresh ingredients then its necessary to put up a post. This oatmeal is really good and just has to be shared.

Adding water to oatmeal is so damn boring. I believe in a thing called flavor country and water lacks that so I went with the milk version. Instead of milk I used almond milk because that’s really the only milk I drink. If you enjoy a bowl of oatmeal I recommend you try this recipe.

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Dairy Free/Refined Sugar Free (omit the B.Sugar)/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Serves: 1 Person

Mise en Place:

-1 Cup Almond Milk

-1/2 Cup Rolled Oats

-1 Cinnamon Stick

-1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

-Fresh Fruit of Choice (I used 1 Banana, 2 Strawberries cut in 1/4’s, 1 peach)

-Smoked Paprika, TT

-Maple Syrup, Garnish

-Any additional fixings (i.e: nuts, dried fruit)

 

Method of Preparation:

-In a sauce pot over medium heat, bring almond milk, smoked paprika and cinnamon stick to a boil.

-Mix in rolled oats and continue to cook an additional 5 minutes or until soft.

-Pour into serving bowl and top with fresh fruit and additional fixings.

-Sprinkle with more paprika and drizzle with maple syrup.

Enjoy!

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Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

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When asked the question what your favorite food was when you were a kid, how many of you said pizza? Yup, me too. While I still enjoy pizza now it is no longer considered my favorite food for the reason that I’ve discovered a lot more food and culture since I was 6 when I voted pizza as being the best food ever.

Brandon and I absolutely love the pizza from Mellow Mushroom and with there being a location in Delray Beach not far from our apartment, we try to make it up there once a week for cheap beer specials and buffalo chicken pizza. For the sake of us limiting our exposure to dining out, when one of us is craving pizza, I’ll make the dough from scratch in my kitchen and throw on whatever is leftover in our refrigerator to doctor up our pie. Ordering pizza is also our “go to” meal when neither of us is in the mood for cooking dinner when we both just spent the last 9+ hours at work cooking.

There’s a great deal of differentΒ  “flours” available in the market now. Once in a while I’ll use almond and coconut flours when baking. One flour that I have in my pantry that I rarely use is whole wheat flour. Whole wheat pizzas are actually tasty.Β  If your not into whole wheat products, I will also supply a recipe for pizza dough using AP flour. Lastly before I go, another great thing about pizza dough is you can make a batch of this, cut it in half and freeze what you don’t use for another use later down the road. Just know that once the dough is frozen and pulled to thaw, you cannot put it back in the freezer. It has to be used or thrown out. This messes with the yeast and your dough will no longer be salvageable.

 

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Whole Wheat Pizza Dough-[Vegan, Dairy free]

Yield: 2 Medium Pizzas with 8 slices per pie

Mise en Place:

-2 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

-1 Pack (2 1/4 teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast

-3/4 Teaspoon Salt

-1 Cup Warm Water

-1 Tablespoon EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

-1 Tablespoon Sugar

 

Additional Tools:

-Pizza Stone (The back of a sheet tray will work as well, you will need to adjust the round shape to the size of the sheet tray.)

-Stand mixer with a pizza hook attachment (See first picture).

-Rolling pin

-Pizza Toppings

 

Method of Prep:

-In the bowl of your mixer, add warm water, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes until incorporated. Let Sit for 2 more minutes.

-Turn mixer onto medium speed and slowly add in the flour. As the dough begins to form, drizzle in olive oil. Stop the mixer and push down on the dough. If the dough is too sticky add in a small amount of flour until the dough is able to hold its shape. If the dough is too dry and in a small amount of warm water until the dough is able to once again hold its shape.

-Continue mixing on medium-low speed for 10 minutes to knead the dough.

-After 10 minutes, shape the dough into a ball. Drizzle a small amount of oil over the top, rub over entire dough and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes – 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size (proofed).

-Turn oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and remove pizza stone from oven.

-Once proofed, place dough onto a lightly floured surface (use whole wheat flour). Cut dough in half (if you don’t your going to have a very large pie!

-Take the one half and gently roll into a round using a rolling pin, or your hands if your feeling artistic. If your not going to use the other half of the dough, tightly wrap in Plastic wrap and place in your freezer to use later down the road.

-Lay the dough on the pizza stone, brush with oil and layer with sauce and toppings of your liking.

-Place in the oven and bake until golden brown all around, approximately 10 minutes. If you want a crispy crust, par bake your dough for 5 minutes prior to adding your toppings.

-Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes before cutting.

Enjoy!

 

Pizza Dough (Using AP Flour)

-3 Cups AP Flour

-1 Pack of Active Dry Yeast

-2 Tablespoons Oil

-1 Teaspoon Salt

-1 Tablespoon Sugar

-1 Cup Warm Water

 

Pizza Topping Recommendations:

-Make your own sauce using my Marinara recipe. You can have spaghetti with your left over sauce for dinner the following night!

-If your a meat lover, make your own sausage using 1# each of ground beef and ground Italian Sausage. Add in some dry seasonings, salt and pepper. Mix in a bowl and cook off in a pan or in the oven.

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Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

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Brandon and I have a house full of pets. With 2 cats, 2 rats, and 1 dog it gets a little crazy at times here. I love every one of my pets dont get me wrong, however its really hard to travel which is something my heart and soul thrive on doing.Β  I don’t always have the best of luck with little things in life but I was real lucky to get an apartment next door to a really awesome couple. Patrick and Jessica who both grew up in Florida, have been living in our apartment complex for the last 3 years and Jessica has been nothing but amazing when it comes to asking for help with anything.

Brandon and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary the end of last month and wanted to do something special. We didn’t have much money and with a handful of pets its hard to get away for a long period of time. Jessica said she would be more than happy to babysit each of the pets for the week so we could escape and celebrate our love. At that moment, we booked 2 tickets to NYC for 4 days where we stayed with a good friend of mine who lives in Brooklyn and went on an awesome culinary tour (A small post on our food tour will be up later.)Β  I had to pay it forward for Jessica because of how awesome she is. Baking is a delicious gift that most people enjoy. I told her I wanted to pay her back somehow and she said I can do so by baking her cookies…Vegan of course because Jessica is well, a vegan.

I don’t do a lot of vegan baking but when I do, cookies are always the answer. If your a crumbly cookie fan, these shortbread’s will be your new best friend. Vegan or not, their pretty darn good. Only way to know is to make a batch!

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Lemon Rosemary Cookies- Vegan

Recipe Adapted from: ChezCayenne

Mise en Place:

-2 Cups AP Flour

-2/3 Cup Powder Sugar

-1/2 Cup Coconut Oil

-1/2 Cup Earth Balance Margarine

-1/4 Teaspoon Salt

-1 Teaspoon Packed Lemon zest

-2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice

-1-1/2 Teaspoons Minced Fresh Rosemary

 

Additional Tools:

-Rolling pin

-Cooling racks

-Plastic wrap

-Medium size circle cookie cutter

 

Method of Prep:

-Combine all ingredients with a mixer on low speed until well combined (mixture will be crumbly). Press dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

-Roll dough out slightly on a lightly floured surface less than 1/2 inch thick. Cut into circles with round cutter. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies onto an ungreased baking sheet. Continue rolling out cookies with the scraps.

-Slip the baking sheet(s) into the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes before baking.

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges.

Enjoy!

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